A man who was caught on video yelling at a woman and her daughter, allegedly because they were speaking Arabic, is unlikely to face hate crime charges according to a defence lawyer.
Eric Sutton said that while the man's diatribe might be offensive, his comments likely don't amount to a hate crime.
"This wouldn't pass the test in the criminal code. It would have had to have been done in some sort of a public setting or communicated in a public," he said. "A private conversation is not the basis for any kind of charge of that nature."
Sutton added that a charge of intimidation or harassment would be more likely.
"He also made a remark of a threatening nature to the little girl but towards her mother, saying that he wanted to perhaps sexually assault her, which culd be seen as a criminal threat," he said.
On Thursday Montreal police said they identified the man from the video.
The woman was talking to her daughter in Arabic in front of a St. Laurent Blvd. daycare when the man approached and called her a slut, then yelled at the girl as well.
The incident was captured on video and has been shared more than 300,000 times on social media.
The victim, who goes by the name Anais, reported the incident to Montreal police and they have been looking for the man.
On Tuesday Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante appealed to the public for help in locating the man, and that appeal appears to have been successful.
Montreal police said Friday they received a tip identifying the man, and that officers have spoken to everyone involved in the case.
However, because the investigation is underway, police are not naming any of the people involved.
Anais, who asked to remain anonymous due to fears for her safety, said she was pleased that police found the man.